A rollover accident is where the vehicle turns over onto its roof or its side. Rollover accidents happen to be the deadliest type of vehicular crash there is according to safercar.gov. There are close to ten million car accidents each year involving pickup trucks, SUVs, and vans. Although only a little over 3% of these accidents are rollovers, they are responsible for more than 30% of all motor vehicle accident deaths! Of the nearly 8,000 people that die each year in rollover crashes, most of them were not wearing a seatbelt.
If you have recently been involved in a vehicle rollover accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an Orange County rollover accident attorney at the Crockett Law Group to learn about how we can help you maximize your settlement. Call (800) 900-9393 for a free consultation with our car accident lawyers in Orange County.
What Is The Most Common Cause of a Rollover Accident?
Rollover accidents are usually caused by the negligence of the operator of an SUV, van, or pickup truck, or when another vehicle hits this type of vehicle at a high rate of speed. These are some of the most common scenarios we typically see here in Orange County, CA:
One Car Accident
The driver loses control of their vehicle due to one of the following reasons:
- Falling asleep at the wheel;
- Putting on or taking off a garment
- Using a phone
- Hitting a pothole or other obstruction
- Taking care of a child
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
The driver causes an accident by flagrantly disregarding the proper standard of care that should be employed when driving, such as:
- Aggressive driving
- Taking turns at a high rate of speed
- Stunt driving
When a vehicle with a high center of gravity is hit with force by another vehicle, especially in a side impact, it can cause it to rollover. An impact that pushes a vehicle into a guardrail or other fixed object can also result in it rolling over.
This occurs when a driver abruptly turns the wheel more than is expected or necessary causing the vehicle to tip or roll over.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost half of all fatal rollover crashes involve alcohol.
What Injuries Are Commonly Caused By Rollover Accidents?
Rollover accidents not only cause the most fatalities, but they also cause the most catastrophic and life-altering injuries. Injuries from rollover accidents include the following:
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
TBI’s range in severity from mild to severe and include concussions, coup-contrecoup brain injuries, brain contusions, diffuse axonal injuries, second impact syndrome, and penetrating injuries. Outcomes can range from short term headaches to brain death.
Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
SCI’s are graded for severity using the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) scale:
- ASIA A: No sensory function
- ASIA B: Some sensory function, but no motor function
- ASIA C: Some motor function, but less than 50% anti-gravity
- ASIA D: More than 50% of muscle groups function anti-gravity
- ASIA E: Normal
These injuries are complicated with loss of blood and require emergency medical assistance. Victims are taken by medivac to a trauma center where an attempt can be made to reattach the limb. Thankfully, technological advances now allow for amputees to have a large amount of mobility with prosthetics.
There are many types of scarring that can develop from traumatic lacerations including:
- Keloid scars that extend beyond the original laceration area. These can become raised and cause discomfort.
- Contracture scars that tighten the skin and impair mobility. This type of scar can even go deep into the muscles and nerves.
- Hypertrophic scars are raised reddish scars that appear similar to keloids, however, they don’t extend beyond their original trauma area.
This can range from mild burns that need basic first aid to severe burns where life-saving emergency medical treatment is required.
These are the different degrees of burns injuries:
- First degree burns only impact the top layer of skin, causing redness and sensitivity.
- Second-degree burns go through to the second layer of skin, sometimes impacting sweat glands and hair follicles. The skin may appear blistered and wet.
- Third-degree burns are called “full thickness” burns and may impact nerve endings. The skin may appear dry, charred, and swollen.
- Fourth-degree burns impact all the layers of the skin and muscle. These life-threatening burns can be fatal and always require emergency medical treatment.
Wrongful Death and Rollover Crashes
Because rollover accidents cause more deaths than any other type of traffic accident, wrongful death claims are also more common.
In California, a wrongful death claim can be brought when a person dies as a result of the negligence, recklessness, or other wrongful act of another person. A wrongful death claim may be brought by the deceased person’s family members, such as a spouse or children, where they request compensation for their loss. These are some of the damages available in a wrongful death claim:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost income that the deceased person would have contributed
- Lost inheritance that the deceased would have left to survivors
- The value of the household services that would have been provided by the deceased person
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of community, affection, moral support, and guidance
How Do You Survive a Rollover Accident?
We’ve established just how deadly rollover accidents can be, so it’s important that we also talk about how we can survive a rollover accident should we be so unlucky to be involved in one. In that case, this is what you should do:
- Wear your seatbelt: a majority of people that succumb to their injuries caused by a rollover crash weren’t wearing their seatbelt at the time of the accident.
- Don’t move if you feel that further movement of your body could make the damage worse.
- Turn off your engine if you can safely do so without injuring yourself further.
- Call 911 if you’re able to do so.
Schedule a Free Consultation With an Orange County Rollover Accident Attorney
As vehicle rollover injury lawyers, we regularly represent the interests of victims who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. Crockett Law Group is committed to handling your injury claim from start to finish and will fight to make sure that you receive the money you deserve. If you’ve been injured as a result of a vehicle rollover, contact the Crockett Law Group to speak with a personal injury attorney in Orange County at (800) 900-9393.